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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, December 10, 2020

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2020 Tour de France | 2020 Giro d'Italia

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. - Albert Einstein

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Richie Porte confirmed to race in the Santos Festival of Cycling

The race organizers sent me this:

King of Willunga Hill, Santos Tour Down Under 2020 winner, and fan favourite, Richie Porte has been confirmed to race in the Santos Festival of Cycling slated for January 19 – 24 in 2021.

Richie Porte

Richie Porte winning stage six of the 2019 Tour Down Under. Sirotti photo

The Santos Festival of Cycling will showcase the nations budding national road series riders against some of the finest WorldTour professionals. Richie will ride for the Australian national team in Adelaide for the first time since his Santos Tour Down Under debut in 2008.

Race Director Stuart O’Grady said “It’s fantastic that Richie and his family are back in Australia after an incredible year.  For all the cycling fans out there and the public to be able to congratulate Richie in person for his historic podium in the TDF is just amazing.  Being in Adelaide and supporting this event means a lot to the Santos Dour Down Under team behind the race and gives the young up and coming riders an amazing opportunity to ride alongside one of this country’s greatest cyclists”.

We would like to thank his team for next year, “INEOS Grenadiers” in allowing him to return to Australia.

Richie said it will be nice to come back and see some good young Aussie talent. “There is plenty to love about Adelaide in January and it will be nice to catch up with the Aussie cycling fans to say hi.  I think it’s good the South Australian government has got behind it too”.

Robert Power & Bert-Jan Lindeman complete Qhubeka-Assos roster for 2021

Here’s the team’s announcement:

Team Qhubeka ASSOS is delighted to confirm the signings of Robert Power and Bert-Jan Lindeman, and in the process complete our roster for 2021.

These signings bring our WorldTour complement to 27 which also enables us the opportunity to provide additional exposure to some of our Continental riders, where the programme allows, as part of their development process onto the WorldTour in the future.

Robert Power is a very exciting addition to our squad that’s already shown his abilities on the highest level but who we see as someone whose full potential is yet to be realised. As a rider with a fast-kick who climbs well, he understandably ranks the Tour Down Under as his favourite race – he was second on stage three of the 2020 edition which finished in Paracombe.

He counts among career highlights a 6th place at Strade Bianchi in 2018, victory at the 2018 Japan Cup and also crossing the line first, together with teammate Simon Yates, at Prueba Villafranca-Ordiziako Klasika in the same year.

The 25-year-old from Perth focused on rugby union while growing up, a sport in which his older brother played professionally, before switching his attention to cycling and making the move to Europe.

The 31-year-old Dutchman, Lindeman, brings a wealth of experience to our environment and moves across from Jumbo-Visma where he’s spent the bulk of his professional career. He’s been a key member of the support structure within that team that’s seen it rise to be among the best in the world, and now brings those expertise to Team Qhubeka ASSOS.

Bert-Jan Lindeman

Bert-Jan Lindeman wins 2015 Vuelta stage 7. Sirotti photo

A stage-winner at the Vuelta a Espana in 2015, his palmares also includes overall victory at the 2014 Tour de l’Ain ahead of the likes of Romain Bardet, Dan Martin and Julian Alaphilippe and an impressive 5th-place finish at Brabantse Pijl – La Flèche Brabançonne in 2017.

Robert Power:
For next year, 2021, to be able to join Team Qhubeka ASSOS is something that really excites me, I’m really looking forward to getting to know the riders and the staff.

Between myself as a rider and Qhubeka ASSOS it’s a great fit and I’m really looking forward to working with the partners of the team. To ride on a BMC next year is something that’s really awesome; I’m really motivated for this next step and I just want to do my best.

I’m really looking forward to the next season and getting into the racing but also to be working closely with the Qhubeka Charity. Riding and racing our bikes is a real privilege and to see the impact that can have in the communities that Qhubeka works is truly inspiring.

Bert-Jan Lindeman:
I’m looking forward to ride in the colours of Team Qhubeka ASSOS next year. After six years I’m really looking forward to a new environment and to bring that knowledge and skill I’ve acquired over the years to my new team.

That said, I will also be using the opportunity to expand my horizons and to take the next step; I’ve always ridden for Dutch-based teams and to now move into this team which also holds at its centre the purpose of what we do as riders through the Qhubeka Charity, makes me both extremely motivated and also very proud.

Lars Michaelsen – Head Sports Director:
Bert-Jan will bring an excellent capacity as a very good addition as a “helper” rider for our team. He’s done seven Grand Tours and done nearly all kinds of the Classics races, mostly the northern ones but has also Milan-Sanremo and Lombardia. He’s solid sprinter, good climber but most of all he brings a wealth of experience coming from six years with Jumbo-Visma.

The feedback I’ve received is that he has been a very loyal team man; I think he was the man sitting with Wout van Aert at Milano-San Remo in 2020, managing to be there for him, until van Aert made the race for himself of course. As someone from the northern part of the Netherlands, every day he’s fighting against the wind just to go out training, so he’s a fighter by nature and we see as a very valuable addition.

Robert spent his first years as a pro with the Greenedge organisation before going to Sunweb so despite his age has some really good experience at this level already.

He is a rider who is able to climb really well and who is someone that if he gets into the right environment, or circumstances play in our favour, could be a real joker for us. His big results from 2018 show that if we get him back to that level it would be fantastic both for him and us, so if the chemistry works out well then we have high hopes for him as a trump card to play next season.

This now completes both our WorldTour and Continental rosters for the 2021 season (in alphabetical order):

1.    Sander Armée  (Belgium)
2.    Fabio Aru (Italy)
3.    Carlos Barbero (Spain)
4.    Sean Bennett (USA)
5.    Connor Brown (South Africa/New Zealand)
6.    Victor Campenaerts (Belgium)
7.    Dimitri Claeys (Belgium)
8.    Simon Clarke (Australia)
9.    Nicholas Dlamini (South Africa)
10.    Kilian Frankiny (Switzerland)
11.    Michael Gogl (Austria)
12.    Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark)
13.    Sergio Henao (Colombia)
14.    Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (South Africa)
15.    Bert-Jan Lindeman (Netherlands)
16.    Giacomo Nizzolo (Italy)
17.    Matteo Pelucchi (Italy)
18.    Robert Power (Australia)
19.    Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy)
20.    Mauro Schmid (Switzerland)
21.    Andreas Stokbro (Denmark)
22.    Dylan Sunderland (Australia)
23.    Harry Tanfield (Great Britain)
24.    Karel Vacek (Czech Republic)
25.    Emil Vinjebo (Denmark)
26.    Max Walscheid (Germany)
27.    Łukasz Wiśniowski (Poland)

Continental: Team Qhubeka1.    Negasi Abreha (Ethiopia)
2.    Ghebrehiwet Birhane (Eritrea)
3.    Kevin Bonaldo (Italy)
4.    Drew Christensen (New Zealand)
5.    Luca Coati (Italy)
6.    Mattia Guasco (Italy)
7.    Henok Mulueberhan (Eritrea)
8.    Marc Pritzen (South Africa)
9.    Antonio Puppio (Italy)
10.  Renus Uhiriwe (Rwanda)

Team Bahrain-McLaren signs Gino Mäder and Jonathan Milan

Here’s the team’s press release:

Wednesday, December 9, 2020 – Team Bahrain McLaren is delighted to announce the signing of two promising youngsters, Gino Mäder and Jonathan Milan, for the upcoming 2021 season.

Gino Mäder is a 23-year-old Swiss rider who has been a professional since 2019, spending the past two seasons racing and gaining experience in the WorldTour circuit.

His talent came to prominence thanks to brilliant results he took at Under 23 cycling, finishing 4th in the 2018 Innsbruck World Championships and stage wins at Tour de l’Avenir, Tour of Hainan, Ronde de l’Isard, and Tour d’Alsace. Mäder is a versatile rider with strong climbing skills but also time-trial skills, demonstrated by becoming the Swiss ITT Junior National Champion in 2015.

He closed the 2020 season riding his first Grand Tour ‘La Vuelta a Espana’, finishing 2nd atop Alto de la Covatilla, after a demanding mountain stage, and in the top twenty overall.

Gino Mäder commented: “I’m more than grateful to join the team. I’m happy to be here and have teammates who are some of the best riders in the world, like Poels, Landa, Bilbao, and to have the chance to learn from such strong GC riders is something I’m looking forward to. I’m glad to take a closer look at how they work and find out the secrets behind them.

It will be a new further experience for me in the WorldTour. I didn’t have a great start to my professional career, but now I have more confidence in myself. I ended the season by putting on some good performances, which motivated me to start this new venture with the team. I will look forward to proposing the best of me and to seeing if I can bring some more value to the team”.

The 20-year-old Jonathan Milan, nicknamed ‘the giant of Buja,’ from his hometown which conveys his size, power and strength, came through the Continental rank to turn professional and will make his WorldTour debut with the team in 2021.

This season, he impressed with a clutch of results that proved his vast talent as track and road cyclist: taking the bronze medal in the team pursuit at the Track World Championships, and 4th in the individual pursuit. More recently, he took two silver medals in the Team and Individual pursuit and a bronze medal in the 1KM TT at the 2020 UEC Elite Track European Championships. In 2020 he also took the Italian National time trial Under 23 title a week after becoming Italian Individual Pursuit Champion and claimed a stage win at Giro Ciclistico d’Italia U23.

On signing his first professional contract, Jonathan Milan said: “Becoming a professional cyclist is a dream come true. Honestly, I didn’t think it would be so soon! I’m grateful to the management for trusting me and allowing me to take this big next step in my career.

I’m glad I chose this team. I believe I took the right decision because the support I will have to continue the track cycling racing program was one of the main reasons I decided to join. The team set some main goals also for the track races. It meant so much to me. In 2021 my first aim will be the Track European Championship and then the biggest one, the Olympics. But first of all, I’m looking forward to starting training and meeting my new teammates at the first training camp”.

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